Doctor Barbie has a laptop. She comes with other accessories, like a white lab coat and stethoscope of course, but one of her largest and most prominent medical tools is her laptop. As a pediatrician’s daughter, my child selected doctor Barbie from the aisle of infinite Barbie options because she knew I was most likely to purchase this one when otherwise walking the store repeating the mantra “no more toys.” ...

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Having recently returned from a medical mission to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, I have become consumed with advocating for the rights of the children outside of our borders.  All the while the children I have spent the last five years caring for have been fighting for themselves in this changing political climate. As a pediatrician for an underserved immigrant population, I have seen first hand how a simple ...

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I've always wanted to be a pediatrician because I love kids; if you ask most people who work in pediatrics whether nurses or physicians they may say that. It's a very common response to the question "Why pediatrics?” Or how can you do pediatrics?" when students and physicians are asked. Yes, we love working with children for many reasons. Some love the unexpected unrehearsed things kids say; they will shock ...

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To be clear, this is about one person.  It warms my heart to know that people want to come and start new lives as Americans.  Some of the best doctors got their education and training overseas.  Not only have I worked with many of them, I’m related to three by marriage.  Most people have heard of Mr. Andrew Wakefield.   He used to be a British doctor before being stripped of ...

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As physicians ready themselves for the future of medicine under onerous MACRA regulations, it seems appropriate to glance into the future and visualize the medical utopia anticipated by so many.  Value-based care, determined by statistical analysis, is going to replace fee for service. Six months ago, I received my first set of statistics from a state Medicaid plan and was told my ER utilization numbers were on the higher end compared ...

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During the first year of medical school, one of the most nerve-wracking, but exciting, experiences was learning how to interview and examine patients. At that time, we mostly worked with “standardized patients” -- people who are trained specifically to play the role of a scripted medical case. Although working with them seemed incredibly challenging at the time, the rules of engagement were in fact very favorable to us. Asking a question ...

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Early in our careers, few of us imagined a vaccine could one day prevent cancer. Now there is a vaccine that keeps the risk of developing six Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers at bay, but adoption of it has been slow and surprising low. Although it’s been available for more than a decade, as of 2014 only 40 percent of girls had received the full three doses of the vaccine, ...

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I am a new mom to a beautiful 8-month-old girl, and I am breastfeeding. I am also a doctor at a large, well-known academic institution. The hospital where I work delivers several thousand babies a year, and highly encourages their new moms to breastfeed. They offer a postpartum consultation with a lactation consultant, keep the baby in the mom's room 24/7 while in the hospital, and provide several other pro-breastfeeding ...

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A fairly recent article in the Journal of Pediatrics is both intriguing and sobering. It is intriguing because it lays bare something we don’t talk much about or teach our students. It is sobering because it describes the potential harm that can come from it — harm I have personally witnessed. The issue is overdiagnosis, and it’s related to our relentless quest to explain everything. "Overdiagnosis" is the term the authors ...

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We do many things in medicine to patients that are either not helpful or have the potential to harm. If you take the long view of medical history, this should not be surprising. After all less than a century ago, physicians were still giving toxic mercury compounds to people in the form of calomel. And a century before that, physicians were bleeding people because they thought that was a good ...

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